18 Common Auto Insurance Discounts To Look For
Auto insurance is a lot like gasoline and car maintenance: Nobody ever wants to pay for it, but it’s a required part of owning a vehicle and being a driver. Hopefully, you’ll never have to use it, but you’ll sleep easier at night knowing that you and your loved ones are covered — no matter what the road throws at you.
Still, it’s only natural to want to pay as little as possible for your car insurance while still knowing that you’ve got the best possible coverage for your budget. The good news is that there are a lot of different ways that you can reduce your insurance premiums and get a good deal.
Below is a list of some of the most common car insurance discounts that you might be able to qualify for to lower your insurance bill. We also offer some advice for actually getting these discounts applied to your policy.
Car insurance discounts
1. Paperless discount
If you opt to receive your monthly statements and bills electronically instead of via paper mail, you may qualify for a paperless discount if your carrier offers it. This is one of the most common car insurance details out there. It typically isn’t a tremendous discount, but it’s still a great way of lowering your bill (and keeping your mailbox from getting clogged).
2. Loyalty discount
Acquiring new customers is one of the most expensive parts of being an insurance company. That’s why, once a carrier has a customer, they want to keep them. With that in mind, it’s no wonder that most carriers offer a loyalty discount to incentivize customers to stay: The longer you stay with the same carrier, the greater the discount you’ll receive compared to new customers. However, keep in mind that loyalty to one carrier isn’t always the best path forward — you’ll want to re-shop your insurance annually to ensure your rate is still the best.
3. Continuous insurance discount
If you can show that you do not have gaps in your auto insurance coverage, you may qualify for a continuous insurance discount. Why? Because it shows your new carrier that you are a responsible driver who has maintained coverage, and that is exactly the kind of driver that carriers are looking for.
4. Early quote discount
You can often save money by getting a quote on your new car insurance policy before your current policy expires. While each carrier decides how they define “early,” most will require you to receive your quote and sign up for your policy at least seven days before your current policy expires.
5. Multi-car discount
Most carriers offer a discount to drivers who insure multiple cars under the same policy. The discount will vary from carrier to carrier, but will often be in the range of 5% to 10%.
6. Multi-policy discount
Just like the multi-car discount mentioned above, many carriers who offer different types of insurance will grant you a discount when you have multiple policies with the same company. For example, you might choose to insure both your car and your home with the same carrier, or your car and a recreational vehicle (such as a boat). Depending on the carrier, these discounts might go by a number of different names, like a “home and auto bundle.”
7. Paid-in-full discount
The paid-in-full discount is one of the most commonly available discounts that you should know about. It essentially rewards you for paying your entire premium for the period (typically six months) up front instead of in monthly installments. Depending on your carrier, this can save you anywhere from 5% to 10% on your premiums.
8. Claims-free cash back
Many carriers offer a claims-free discount to drivers who do not file a claim for a certain period of time. The exact period of time will depend on the carrier, but 6 months and 12 months are common periods. Usually, this discount is automatically applied to a driver’s policy.
9. Safe driver discount
Like the claims-free discount above, many carriers offer a discount to drivers who are specifically accident- and violation-free for a certain period of time. This discount goes by a number of different names, including the safe driver discount, good driver discount, accident-free discount, and violation-free discount.
10. Diminishing deductible
Some carriers offer a specific discount known as a “vanishing deductible,” which essentially lowers your deductible the longer you go without filing a claim (up to a predetermined maximum). In a sense, this isn’t a true discount because it won’t actually lower your premiums, but it’s still a valuable benefit and one that you should know about.
11. Driver training discount
New drivers are considered to be at an elevated risk for getting into an accident. This is why many carriers offer a discount for new drivers who can demonstrate that they’ve completed a driving education program (i.e., driving school). Usually, the program must be approved by the carrier in order to qualify. You might get a similar discount by completing an accident prevention course, or a drug and alcohol class.
12. Good student discount
If you are a young driver who is still in school (or you are the parent of a young driver still on your policy) you may qualify for a good student discount if your child maintains a certain grade point average. This will often require maintaining a 3.0 GPA, which roughly translates into a B average.
13. Distant student discounts
If you are the parent of a teenage driver who is on your policy, you may qualify for a distant student discount under certain circumstances. Typically, it will require that your child resides a certain distance from your home, and does not have access to the vehicle. Many parents qualify for this discount when their children go to college or boarding school; that’s why it’s also sometimes called the “student away at school discount.” While each carrier has its own requirements, most will require your child to be residing at least 100 miles from home.
14. Homeownership discount
Do you own your home? If so, you may qualify for a homeownership discount through your carrier, even if your homeowners insurance policy is not with the same carrier. Why? Because many renters must park their car on the street or in a public lot, where there is a greater chance of a collision compared to your personal driveway or garage. This lowers your riskiness as a policyholder, allowing the carrier to pass on some of those savings to you.
15. Hybrid/electric vehicle discount
As more and more insurance carriers choose to embrace environmentally-friendly policies, it is becoming increasingly common for those carriers to offer a discount on hybrid or fully-electric vehicles.
16. New car discount
If your car is deemed to be “new” (which typically means it’s less than 3 years old), you may qualify for a new car discount if your carrier offers one.
Why do insurance carriers care about the age of your car? Simply put, it’s because new cars have more advanced technology, and are constructed using newer materials and manufacturing methods, which help to make them safer. This reduces the risk that you will be seriously harmed during a collision. Other features, such as backup cameras and lane-departure sensors, also reduce the risk of an accident.
17. Anti-theft device discount
Vehicles with anti-theft devices (like alarms and vehicle tracking capabilities) can often qualify for an anti-theft device discount, because these devices make it less likely that the carrier will need to reimburse you for a stolen vehicle. If you know your vehicle has one of these features, it’s worth asking if your carrier offers this.
18. Low mileage discount
The more you drive, the more likely you are to eventually be involved in an accident; that’s just the way that probability works. With this in mind, some carriers offer a low mileage discount to drivers who stay under a certain mileage threshold during the year. Each carrier can set their own mile limit, but you’ll often need to drive fewer than 8,000-10,000 miles a year.
How to get discounts on car insurance
As you can see, there are tons of potential discounts that you might be able to qualify for in order to lower your auto insurance bill. But how do you actually go about getting those discounts applied to your policy? Ultimately, that will depend on whether you currently have a policy or whether you are looking for a new plan.
If you’ve already got an insurance plan, you should start by calling your agent or carrier and asking them to walk through your coverage options with you. Understand what current discounts are already applied to your policy, and ask if there are other discounts available. If you think you might qualify for a discount that they don’t mention, such as one of those mentioned above, go ahead and ask.
If you’re looking for a new plan altogether, you can compare quotes from 40+ top-rated carriers with Matic to get the best available rate with the right coverage for you. Our advisors can help you understand what discounts you qualify for.